Sowing The Seeds of Love With Tainá Guedes & Gustavo Guimaraes

October 25, 2020
Food Correspondences by Tainá Guedes and Nora Wagner

Food Correspondences by Tainá Guedes and Nora Wagner

by Mona Bavar

"Truth is exact correspondence with reality"


Paramahansa Yogananda

As a passionate author, food activist and artist Tainá Guedes combines food with artistic expression in order to communicate the importance of living more thoughtfully and sustainably. Through her annual, non-profit festival, Food Art Week (FAW), Guedes has started a global movement for positive social and environmental change. The 2020 topic of FAW pays homage to seeds and the importance of preserving them.


Her most recent work, Food Correspondences is an exchange between Guedes and Nora Wagner, sharing their hopes, fears, memories and imagination through the universal language of food, as well as addressing the fundamental question: “What are the ingredients for a better world?”. The video is available for viewing at Transition Days through October 31 at at neimënster in Luxembourg.


Food Correspondences is also “a display of gratitude to the universe for blessing” her and her partner, Gustavo Guimaraes, with their recent pregnancy. “It is our way to venerate the beauty and magic of conception, the continuity of life and our love and hope for the future.” Affectionately referring to their unborn child as a seed, the two follow the development of the fetus, comparing it seeds of fruits and vegetables.


DLISH had the pleasure to speak with the expecting parents about their new blessing, working together, as well as the magical powers of true love.   

Mona Bavar:  What is the story behind the new project that you are working on together?


Gustavo Guimaraes:  Tainá and I are expecting a child. We are thrilled with the fact that we will welcome a human into the world in a few months.  This has made us ponder about the future we envision for us and our baby, including the future of the planet we live in. 


Right around the time when Tainá became pregnant, she was commissioned to create an art project for Transition Days, an environment and sustainability themed festival set in Luxembourg City in October 2020.  It was clear to Tainá that she wanted to make a piece of art inspired by the child within her and the future of the planet this child will inherit. 


Tainá Guedes: You can see the entire project at Transition Days and watch the video

Food Correspondences by Tainá Guedes and Nora Wagner

MB:  What is the inspiration behind the project? Gustavo, how did you get involved in the project?


GG:  Tainá has been advocating about the protection of our biodiversity in our foods and the importance of preserving seeds as a way to save our food. By the way, she did an amazing job at this year's Food Art Week, the festival that she puts together annually in Berlin.  When we became aware that we were expecting, we began to refer to our child affectionately as our little seed. The name became more endearing to us because we started to follow the growth of the fetus with a mobile application which would inform us weekly the size of the fetus in comparison to a fruit or vegetable. One week the fetus would be the size of a blueberry, then the next would be as big as a plum, on the following week it would be comparable to an avocado.


When Tainá decided to create the art piece the idea of incorporating fruits and their seeds to it was clear. Also, because the coming of a child is a wonder, she decided to add spiritual elements to it. Tainá and I are both from Brazil and so it is common to make offerings with food for the gods and goddess of Candomble, an endemic Brazilian religion inspired by elements of both European and African religions. Iemanjá is the goddess of fertility in this religion - Tainá and I adore this deity. 


Tainá asked me whether I would be willing to participate in a video idea she had conceptualized where she would film me throwing food offerings to Iemanjá. I said yes unhesitatingly.

MB:  You reference Krishna, the god of love and compassion, whom you have been praying to as one of the inspirations for the project. Can you tell us about this?


GG: This may be a miscommunication. I believe the goddess we refer to is called Amma - a Hindu deity that protects our friend's father's hindu temple in Malaysia. Our friend’s name is Krishna who is a Hindu priest and yoga teacher. It was him who told us about Amma.


TG:  Many months ago, Krishna did a ritual here at our home to purify the ambience and to welcome our baby. Gustavo and I have been trying to conceive since September 2019 more or less. Krishna has participated and shared many important moments with us. Our baby due date is “coincidentally” Krishna’s Birthday.


The colors you see used are the from Amma and Iemanjá, and the altar is Indian inspired. The foods I used refer to popular beliefs on fruits and fertility, to our baby, and the elements used for the offering to Iemanjá performed by Gustavo. (watermelon and blueberry)


I like to bring meaning to food, and transform meaning into food for our brain. As time passes, I am busier and busier looking for my “sacred” being, and I am very much interested in how food is connected to our “invisible worlds”, our spirit, and collective rituals.

Food Correspondences by Tainá Guedes and Nora Wagner

MB:  We are very excited for you and Gustavo for the beautiful soul that you will soon bring into this world. Can you tell us a little about the connection with this project and your blessing?  How was it to bring your personal experience to an art project?


GG:  Thank you! This project is our own display of gratitude to the universe for blessing us with a soul within Tainá.  It is our way to venerate the beauty and magic of conception, the continuity of life and our love and hope for the future.


I believe humans enjoy learning from other people’s personal experiences. We can relate to these stories because it sheds a light on the human condition.  We hope this art piece can touch audiences the same way it has done to us.


TG:  Thank you!

MB:  Will you be doing more projects together?


GG:  I do hope so. It has been a blast to work with someone that I love immensely.


TG:  Our next trip together is to an artist residency program in Chemnitz. I am invited as an artist and Gustavo is accompanying me, so I believe we will be probably working together again on this occasion.

MB:  What is the most important message you would like our readers to take away from this project?


GG:  Life is a wonder. It is art. It is beautiful. It is a source of celebration.


TG:  Within every seed there is past, present and future. There is culture, there is soul, there is life, there is a strong power of transformation.

Food Correspondences by Tainá Guedes and Nora Wagner

MB:  How was it working together?


TG:  It was a wonderful experience of learning about life. Gustavo and I are so connected. We share so many dreams and interests. We are also the catalyst to each other. Since we met, so many powerful transformations have been happening inside and outside of us. We bring out the worst and the best of each other. Normally people think that the worst is bad, but we have learned that our worst is also connected to our mission and challenges in life. It is our objective to learn, so if we take it from our daily routine, we can’t learn. Gustavo makes me think in a different way, he is able to enlarge my views and perspectives. So when this comes to my artistic practices, it turns out to be more understandable and profound.

MB:  Any last words/advice for future designers?


TG:  Design is communication, and communication is one of the most powerful tools we have. Through communication we can talk about the important issues and the needs of our times. Whatever kind of design you are doing, there is always a way to spread good messages, and/ or to entice people to make better decisions by buying or using products that are more sustainable. Every seed on this planet makes a difference. You are a seed too.

Click here to follow Tainá Guedes and Food Art Week.  

Read more DLISH interviews with influencers in the world of design:


Raising Awareness Through Food And Artistic Expression:
Meet Tainá Guedes Founder Of Food Art Week


Revolutionizing The Food System One Meal At A Time:
Interview With Matt Jozwiak Of Rethink Food NYC


Designed By Nature, Preserved By Humans:
Interview With Food Designer Elvira Bloise